Sydney, Australia: Helios Books and Ordo Templi Orientis (Australia), 2007. New Edition. Softcover. Large octavo. (174mm X 240 mm) 200 pages. Color printed on matt art paper. This copy is from the book "launch" at the Atlantis Bookshop of London and thus includes a specially made bookplate opposite the title page which is SIGNED by Stephen J. King . It is also INSCRIBED by King on the title page to Clive Harper "Dear Clive / 93 / With Eternal Respect / 93 93/93 Steve."
"The Legend" as originally published by the Mandrake Press in 1930, this is the first modern edition authorized by the Stephensen estate and makes substantial use of surviving Stephensen papers from the period. Percy Reginald Stephensen was a young Australian who went to Britain as a Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford. He became manager of the Mandrake Press of London in the 1920s. The much younger Stephensen eagerly signed up the middle-aged Magus Aleister Crowley. According to Stephensen, he made what he called his own style of “magical oath” to get Crowley’s writings into print, and defend the ‘Great Beast’ against the allegations and accusations levied at him by a hostile British press. Stephensen would describe The Legend of Aleister Crowley as both a “short literary biography” and “a study of the documentary evidence relating to a campaign of personal vilification unparalleled in literary history.” Crowley dedicated his Confessions to Stephensen: To PRS who saw the point. This edition includes the first publication of the opening “Epistle” that was suppressed from the first edition as being too risky. It comes with a comprehensive introductory narrative by Stephen J. King, a senior member and archivist of the Australian O.T.O., which provides the background to The Legend, and examines the press campaigns against Crowley, the history of the Mandrake Press, the Stephensen/Crowley collaboration, and Stephensen’s ongoing association with Crowley’s colleagues Karl Germer, Gerald Yorke and Israel Regardie after Crowley’s death. Also included is a substantial collection of Aleister Crowley’s autobiographical newspaper articles, 1933-35, the vast majority of which have not appeared in print since their original publication. Without doubt the best edition of "The Legend of Aleister Crowley". Incidentally some editions suggest that the book was written by Israel Regardie. This was not the case - Regardie basically provided secretarial services to Crowley at the time but did not claim authorship; he only published it under his own name in 1970 when he became aware that Stephensen had died.
From the collection of Clive Harper with his discreet book-label neatly tipped in at the rear. Harper is well- known as the bibliographer of Austin Osman Spare, for updating the Aleister Crowley bibliography in the 2011 Teitan Press collection of Gerald Yorke's writings, and as someone who has lent his expertise to numerous other publications. Very light rubbing to edges else a tight, bright near Fine copy. Item #66670